Why I'm not sending my kids back to school

Just over the past few weeks, we have been given several clues of what may happen as schools start to reopen. An overnight summer camp in North Georgia had nearly 260 attendees become infected, though the CDC noted some could’ve contracted Covid-19 another way. A high school in Woodstock, Georgia, is temporarily closed after at least 14 positive Covid-19 cases in its first week. Hundreds are under quarantine in the county. Another school in Dallas, Georgia, opened and then closed its doors after six students and three faculty became infected. Their plan is to reopen after disinfecting the school, though it is not clear how much of a difference that will make, as there is no mask requirement — and a single sneeze or cough could once again contaminate a classroom.

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It is a lot to consider, but in the minds of our family, the evidence is clear. After considering all the objective criteria and assessing the situation in our own community, we have made the decision to keep our girls out of school for the time being. This was not an easy decision, but one that we believe best respects the science, decreases the risk of further spread and follows the task force criteria. As a compromise, we will allow our children to have a physically distanced orientation meeting with their new teachers so they can meet them in person before starting to interact with them on a screen. And, after two weeks, we will reassess. It will also be important for us to understand what the triggers will be in our school, in terms of newly diagnosed infections or illnesses, that will require a return to virtual learning. Full and honest transparency from everyone will be more necessary than ever.

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